University at Albany
 

Networking

Has a friend or family ever helped you get a job – that’s networking!

Not all jobs are advertised. Employers sometimes find candidates through recommendations from current employees or colleagues in the field. Networking allows you to find out about these openings. Networking Tips

Start your network with friends, family, former employers, and professors. Ask them for contacts in your chosen field. Introduce yourself to new contacts using your 30-second commercial. To get to know a new contact, ask to do an informational interview with them. After you get to know these contacts, ask them for other contacts etc. Other sources of contacts include:

To maintain your network contacts, keep in touch with updates on your progress. Ask them for career advice and make sure they know what type of opportunities you are need.


A 30-Second Commercial
is a brief introduction designed to get someone interested in you and to communicate your career objectives. It should be about 3- 5 sentences long and should talk about your goals, your interests, and what you have to offer. You can conclude with asking for help, if appropriate. Be sure to ask for introductions, information, or advice. Never ask for a job! That is the quickest way to turn off a potential networking contact.


Informational Interviews
are conversations with people in order to learn about the nature of their job or career. You can ask about training or education requirements, necessary skills, employment outlook, or anything else you'd like to know. In addition to gathering great career information, you've also made a new networking contact.
Questions to ask during informational interviews


Online Professional Networks
work in the same way as social networking sites like Facebook, except that the focus is on professional opportunities. Profiles include your education and work experience rather than personal interests. Professional networks also include groups like the Career Services LinkedIn group that bring together people with similar professions or areas of interest. These are great opportunities to meet and join in discussions with professionals in your chosen field.

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